Stone Age audio book coming December 9th

Stone-Age-AudioHey audio book fans, Stone Age will be coming out in audio on December 9th… Just in time for your Christmas shopping.

Tantor Media is releasing this on as well as Amazon and all other places that sell audio books.

I’m most excited about the narration, which is being done by Dan John Miller. Dan is an accomplished actor (Walk the Line, Leatherheads, and My One and Only) and musician, as well has having an amazing voice. He breaths life to characters and makes them jump of the pages of many books by Phillip Roth, Nora Roberts, & Dean Koontz.

I will be listening to Dan’s rendition of Stone Age the next time I drive down to the beach in Mexico. Hope you’ll pick up your copy too.


Review of Last Stand

Last-Stand-ReviewLong before I even considered writing a book, I loved nothing more than reading them. Although I don’t allow myself much time for reading other novels, when I do, I tear through them pretty quick. I was actually saving William H. Weber’s first novel, Last Stand: Surviving America’s Collapse for my upcoming cruise. However, once I started this post-apocalyptic story, I couldn’t put the darn thing down.

Set in a suburban Tennessee neighborhood, when America comes under a nuclear-EMP-attack, a prepper and his family decide to protect their neighbors rather than play it safe and head to their bug-out location. You’ll recognize one part of the storyline: the American power grid goes down and chaos reigns.

I can see why William’s books (book#2 is out and book#3 is coming out later this year) sell so well. The pace is fairly rapid, almost right from the opening pages, and continues to the very end. You cannot help but be there alongside the main character, whose primary drive is to protect his family at all costs, but is also drawn to protecting his neighbors.

I vastly enjoyed Last Stand. If you’ve liked either of my books, you’ll relish this one. It’s not only a quick read, it’s informative too. I’m so happy to see another book providing fair warning about how vulnerable our power grid is to being taken down–this time due to an EMP, rather than the sun inducing electrical currents–and what that will mean to each of us. For both possibilities, the message from my books and this one is, we all need to prepare. Now, I’m speaking to the knowledgeable as well as the novice preppers in my audience: William throws many bones your way. I learned quite a bit, savoring the details (none done to excess). But then the unthinkable happened much too quickly, the book ended. Alas, Last Stand: Patriots (Book 2) is now downloaded and on my Kindle ready to be savored during my days at sea.

Disclosure: I know the author, William H. Webber, and he was kind enough to write glowing words about yours truly on the back cover of my new book, DESOLATION.

All that said, get Last Stand, read it, and then let me know what you thought.


A 21st Century Attempt at a War of the Worlds Broadcast

War of the Worlds broadcast causes panic

War of the Worlds broadcast causes panic

On Halloween, October 31, 1938, Orson Wells broadcast The War of the Worlds on radio’s Mercury Theatre on the Air.  The 62 minute broadcast, made to sound like it was a live news show, shocked many who tuned in after the disclaimer, and thought that aliens were actually invading the US.  A small panic ensued, although the panic was more media generated, with 12,500 articles reporting on the broadcast, published over the following days.  Even Adolf Hitler was quoted as saying about the broadcast, that it was, “evidence of the decadence and corrupt condition of democracy.” (source

Opinions aside, this was one of the most successful viral marketing campaigns of its time, before viral marketing was even invented.  It made a name for Orson Wells, who went on to make great movies like Citizen Kane.

What if this were done today?  What if rather than using radio, the primary broadcast medium of its day, someone used today’s primary broadcast mediums: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and so on to broadcast a dramatization of some similar type of apocalyptic event?  Would it even work?  Let’s find out.

Today’s War of the Worlds

Then:  Orson Wells Today:  ML Banner

Orson Welles in 1937

Orson Welles in 1937

Things are so bright, you gotta wear shades?

M.L. Banner in 2014

Starting October 28th, and leading up to Halloween (10/31/14), I plan such an experiment, to herald the release of my second book, DESOLATION in the STONE AGE Series. These books cover a subject far scarier and believable than alien invasion: solar storms taking out our power and infrastructure, and with it our way of life. We’ll see if I can channel my inner Orson Wells and get the word out.  Assuming it goes as planned, there will be some similarities to both broadcasts and some marketable differences:

Then:  Orson Wells’ broadcast did not draw a large share of the radio listening audience, because most Americans were listening to the more popular Edgar Bergen show.

Today:  I have very few social media followers, but thousands of readers.

Then:  War of the Worlds was broadcast for only 62 minutes.  But it was the press that carried the story several days: this is what made the story viral.

Today:  My plan is to broadcast “bulletins” from STONE AGE though Halloween, the day of DESOLATION’s release.  I am hoping that some social media influencers and some news sources will pick up my “broadcasts”, just as newspapers picked up the story of Orson Wells’ radio broadcasts.

What is the STONE AGE Series?

Stone Age

Stone Age

Imagine all technology stopping! This very well could happen if  large enough solar storms were to hit our earth. The STONE AGE Series of books ( fictionalizes what would happen to our world if a Carrington-Type Flare, similar to the one that hit earth on 1859. Such an event, it is argued by scientists, would destroy most of our technology: our power grid, water and food distribution, transportation,   communication, and most, if not all, common electronic devices. The result would be the mass death of hundreds of millions and would essentially send our society back to a new   Stone Age.

An astrophysicist featured in my book said it best, “Any day now we will be hit with a solar storm that will return us back to the Stone Age!” Dr. Carrington Reid



The Plan

One of the main characters of STONE AGE is a fictional scientist who, issues bulletins throughout the book to his subscribers, calling attention to the potential coming apocalypse.   Each bulletin is successively worse than the previous one, until the last (announced the day before The Event) says: “It is coming!” and describes the ensuing apocalypse that will follow.

I will have my fictional scientist broadcast each “Bulletin” each day on his website – I created one a few months ago for just this purpose – and then he will share that Bulletin via social media.

ML Banner will then share this with my social media audience, using appropriate hash tags, such as #IsThisReal? And a tag line like “Carrington Flare coming any day!”  I’ll ask a few influencers to do the same in different communities:  Prepper, Social, Sci-Fi, Science, Media, Conspiracy, etc.

My hope is that the story of this will be picked up by larger mainstream media services, leading up to the release of my book a day or two after the last Bulletin’s release.

Well there is my plan.  I admit a certain selfishness is behind this plan, as my ultimate goal is to sell more books.  But, I’m also very interested in calling attention to the seriousness of solar storms and what we can do to protect ourselves for the day when they will occur.

Want to get involved? Be sure to subscribe to my Twitter feed (ml_banner) or friend my author page (AuthorMLBanner) and then forward my appropriate posts to your followers/friends as well.

Well Orson, here goes nothing.

October is the Month of Max

Outspoken Max

He’s baaaack!

Your favorite character, Max Thompson is back in the new book, DESOLATION (coming very very soon). Those of you who have read STONE AGE, know him well. Those who haven’t read STONE AGE… Okay, what are you waiting for? Go read it! It’s only $2.99 for crying out loud or free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Sorry, I digress.

Max is that iconic character everyone loves. He’s a prepper, but he’s got a greater purpose than just protecting his own life from the apocalypse; he seems determined to protect the other main characters of STONE AGE, the Kings.

REVEAL: In DESOLATION, you will find out much more about why Max goes to such lengths to protect the Kings and why he made so many mistakes in preparing for the end of the world.

Max is one of those people who doesn’t care what others think about him and often speaks his mind. He doesn’t drink, but that’s only because he wants to be ready for whatever comes his way. He has no problem cussing, but he prefers to zing people more eloquently. However, he is mostly plain spoken and loves to tell people what’s what.

Because Max returns in DESOLATION, I thought it would be fun to usher in each day with Maxisms. That is one or two-liners from Max that need no explanation. So, for the rest of this month, almost every day, on Twitter (@ml_banner) I will post a Maxism under hastag #maxism. You’re not following me on Twitter? No problem, I will post them in the comments of this article as well.

Have your own Maxism? Post it in the comments. Let me know something Max would say.

Today’s Maxism comes from DESOLATION (after the Einstein quote):

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” ~ Albert Einstein

Al got it wrong – World War IV would be fought and won by whoever finds all the leftover guns.

~ Maxwell J. Thompson

Advanced Copy Reviewers Chosen


Advanced Copy Reviewers Found

Thanks to everyone who accepted the call to be an Advanced Copy Reviewer for DESOLATION!

As those of you know who are on my mailing list, I sent out a request for Advanced Copy Readers/Reviewers. I really didn’t expect so many would come forward so quickly. I reached my projected cut-off number long before the first day (Saturday) ended. However, I decided to accept all others who followed my directions and asked to be an ACR, through Sunday.

Unfortunately, I have to cut this off at some point. After all, I do need to sell a copy or two of the book. So, please forgive me for not accepting any more requests for ACRs at this time.

I hope you will still consider purchasing DESOLATION when it comes out in a few weeks. If you do, and you are willing to provide a review, I promise a worthy surprise.

To everyone who is subscribing to Apocalyptic Updates, I will give you more details in an announcement email shortly. You’ll even find out how to pick up a copy of DESOLATION for a buck or two less than the publication date price. But only subscribers will be told about this… Just one more reason why you need to subscribe to Apocalyptic Updates.